The Climate CoLab and 2015 Winner Dylan Husted were recently featured in an article on BostInno. SaveOhno and Founder Dylan Husted were Judges’ Choice Winners for the 2015 Shifting Attitudes & Behavior contest.
By Olivia Vanni for BostInno
Changing the world doesn’t happen overnight. But give it a year and you can make some traction, according to SaveOhno’s Founder Dylan Husted.
Last time we spoke with Husted in December of 2014, he was mid-Kickstarter campaign andSaveOhno was only a concept. Flash forward to today: His social impact platform, which uses games to entice people to make environmental changes, is built and garnering attention. And now Husted’s vision for the venture is only starting to grow.
If you need a recap, here it is. Husted first thought of SaveOhno during his freshman year at Babson after taking a class on climate change. The material presented in the course got the wheels turning.
“So many people agree we need to do something and make big changes to help the environment, yet only a few people actually follow through,” Husted explained. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to get people to go from opinion to action.”
To encourage people to take action, Husted and his then co-founders, both of whom have left the venture, set out to gamify advocacy. Through SaveOhno, users are able to sign petitions and change the world in which their game great granddaughter – Ohno – lives. As further incentive, their participation earns them points that can be redeemed for environmentally friendly goods via the site.
Creating the site has been a journey for Husted. After finishing a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, he built SaveOhno’s beta, which launched last March. Since then, the startup was accepted into the Summer Venture Program at Babson and, according to Husted, that’s when his company was kicked into overdrive.
“I barely got in, but once I did, it absolutely transformed SaveOhno…Right away, I had people telling me, ‘I can see 10 problems with your business, so let’s get to work.’”
In those 10 weeks, Husted said he changed business model, as well as broadened the focus of the platform. Rather than limiting the site to handle just climate change, it’s now including all environmental issues.
Since then, SaveOhno has participated in MIT’s Climate CoLab where it earned two awards from MIT for helping to mitigate climate change. The company also presented at the Web Summit in Ireland this past year. But despite all of the recent attention surrounding the startup, Husted admits he still has some kinks to work out.